ndia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani is banking on India’s most valuable sporting property, IPL, to build his content and telecom empire. But, IPL’s fallen victim to a 15-year itch and suffering from consumption fatigue.
As per a recent survey conducted by consumer data intelligence company Axis My India, only 25% of Indians watched IPL this year, and even among those who watched it, 65% watched it on TV. Only 29% said that they have watched it on digital platforms.
Less than a third of the smaller part of a shrinking pie is what Ambani is left with as the days of people taking sick leaves on IPL days are long behind it.
On the contrary, Viacom18 paid a record ₹23,750 crore last month to bag two and a half bundles of IPL’s media rights. It beat Disney Star to win the package that includes digital, non-exclusive digital rights and a few international countries. It sounds like a lot of money has been paid for something that’s not a hot property anymore.
Even those who watched IPL, watched one or more matches this season. IPL season 15’s television viewership fell by 30-35% in the first four weeks compared to last year’s figures.
“One can witness respondents suffering from consumption fatigue which could be related to the innumerable choice of content, ease in mobility and the availability of experiencing ‘cinema’ etc. The craze around IPL persists across platforms but whether this excitement justifies its high media rights, time will tell,” said Pradeep Gupta, chairman and MD of Axis My India.